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A Sydney Home, Redesigned For Dining Among The Treetops

Interiors

Interior designer Caitlin Parker-Brown of Parker Studio has re-invigorated a tired Sydney home by shifting the focus outwards, to the surrounding leafy treetops.

The new extension has completely opened up the back of the house. This bright, calm space balances the original front of the house, which has retained its character with a charming redesign of the mudroom and powder room.

2nd November, 2022

Micro cement was chosen for the kitchen island and benchtops to give the effect of solid concrete without the weight restrictions of formed concrete. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Green from the trees permeates through windows all throughout the space. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

The crisp white walls allow the surrounding landscape to pop. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Kitchen joinery and cupboards are made from tinted white American oak veneer, which was chosen to add texture and bring warmth through the timber grain. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Totem sculpture by The Visuals. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Natural light now floods the space. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

The dining space has been transformed into a panoramic celebration of nature. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

The open-plan living and dining area opens up to the trees! Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

The joinery design in the main living room cleverly hides the family TV behind sliding doors. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Light pink and blue Moroccan Zellige handmade tiles were chosen for the new bathroom. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Cole & Son wallpaper in a richly detailed forest design was chosen to mimic the surrounding treescape at the back of the house. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

‘Untitled Collage V’, by Diana Miller. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

‘Untitled Collage II’, by Diana Miller. Styling – Alexandra Austin. Photo – Jacqui Turk.

Bea Taylor
Wednesday 2nd November 2022

‘We didn’t want to over design or over decorate the space as it has such a striking view. It wasn’t necessary to take away from that,’ – Caitlin Parker-Brown

A series of unsympathetic renovations had left this family home in Woollahra, Sydney, in a confused state. The successive ‘mish mash’ of styles had stripped the home of many of its original features, leaving the pokey living and kitchen areas with limited natural light and – most frustratingly – hadn’t taken advantage of the sweeping views over the park. 

When Caitlin Parker-Brown, director of interior design firm Parker Studio, was brought on to the project, she was tasked with creating a new ground floor layout within the home’s new footprint, including a new rear extension designed by Chris Kokkinis of Ergo Architecture

The new addition to the Victorian-style home now embraces the setting it’s in, with a strong focus on nature and the surrounding treescape, along with a dreamy muted colour palette. 

‘We didn’t want to over design or over decorate the space as it has such a striking view,’ explains Caitlin. ‘It wasn’t necessary to take away from that.’ 

So, rather than design an inward-focussed space, she switched the focus to the surrounding treetops, and created a space that would act as a backdrop to the leafy canopy beyond. 

‘It’s all in the colour palette and materials,’ she says. Natural oak floorboards and crisp white walls created a contemporary and elegant design base, upon which textural and subtle paint and material finishes for the kitchen joinery and benchtop were overlaid.

The kitchen island, which sweeps around in an arc at one end is a micro-cement finish, while the kitchen joinery is a white-washed timber veneer with a very subtle wood grain. ‘This gives a lovely hand-finished look and feel, which was in line with our vision to create an interior that is sympathetic to the landscape,’ Caitlin says. ‘We used muted colours, bushy pinks and blues throughout the spaces to balance out the natural backdrop.’ 

In the original part of the house, Caitlin worked on retaining and reinstating heritage character.  Nowhere is this more obvious than the powder room and mudroom – Caitlin’s favourite spaces in the home. ‘We went wild with colour and pattern and the end result really paid off,’ she says. ‘It’s such a rich and inviting space to be in.’ 

The tumbled checkerboard marble floor tiles are a highlight in these rooms; ‘It gives the entry of the house that old world charm it once had before you step into the light and airy contemporary extension at the back of the house,’ Caitlin explains. ‘It’s a fun contrast.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net